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Columbia Law School

Administrative law

Constitutional Law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Re-Reading Chevron, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2021

Re-Reading Chevron, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

Though increasingly disfavored by the Supreme Court, Chevron remains central to administrative law doctrine. This Article suggests a way for the Court to reformulate the Chevron doctrine without overruling the Chevron decision. Through careful attention to the language of Chevron itself, the Court can honor the decision’s underlying value of harnessing comparative institutional advantage in judicial review, while setting aside a highly selective reading that unduly narrows judicial review. This re-reading would put the Chevron doctrine – and with it, an entire branch of administrative law – on firmer footing.


New Look Constitutionalism: The Cold War Critique Of Military Manpower Administration, Jeremy K. Kessler Jan 2019

New Look Constitutionalism: The Cold War Critique Of Military Manpower Administration, Jeremy K. Kessler

Faculty Scholarship

Between 1953 and 1960, the United States’ overall military and intelligence-gathering capacities grew enormously, driven by President Eisenhower’s “New Look” approach to fighting the Cold War. But the distribution of powers within this New Look national-security state, the shape of its institutional structures, and its sources of legitimacy remained up for grabs. The eventual settlement of these issues would depend on administrative constitutionalism – the process by which the administrative state both shapes and is shaped by constitutional norms, often through ostensibly non-constitutional law and policymaking.

Constitutional concerns about civil liberties, administrative procedure, and the separation of powers ran highest ...


Our Regionalism, Jessica Bulman-Pozen Jan 2018

Our Regionalism, Jessica Bulman-Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

This article provides an account of Our Regionalism to supplement the many accounts of Our Federalism. After describing the legal forms regions assume in the United States — through interstate cooperation, organization of federal administrative agencies, and hybrid state-federal efforts — it explores how regions have shaped American governance across the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

In the years leading up to the New Deal, commentators invoked regions to resist centralization, arguing that state coordination could forestall expansion of the federal government. But regions were soon deployed to a different end, as the federal government relied on regional administration to develop its ...


The Federal Reserve: A Study In Soft Constraints, Kathryn Judge Jan 2015

The Federal Reserve: A Study In Soft Constraints, Kathryn Judge

Faculty Scholarship

In response to the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression, the Federal Reserve (the Fed) took a number of unprecedented steps to try to minimize the adverse economic consequences that would follow. From providing liquidity injections to save companies like Bear Stearns and American International Group (AIG) to committing to a prolonged period of exceptionally low interest rates and buying massive quantities of longer-term securities to further reduce borrowing costs, the Fed's response to the 2007 through 2009 financial crisis (the Crisis) has been creative and aggressive. These actions demonstrated that the Fed is uniquely powerful among federal ...


Through The Looking Glass To A Shared Reflection: The Evolving Relationship Between Administrative Law And Financial Regulation, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2015

Through The Looking Glass To A Shared Reflection: The Evolving Relationship Between Administrative Law And Financial Regulation, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

Administrative law and financial regulation might be thought closely connected, sharing a focus on federal regulation and intertwined at key historical junctures such as the birth of the New Deal administrative state. Yet, oddly, in many ways these two fields stand today poles apart, divided not simply by their separation in law school curricula and faculty, but even more by opposite precepts and framing principles. Modern U.S. administrative law takes notice-and-comment rulemaking as the paradigmatic example of administrative action, with the goal of such regulation often being to compensate for market deficiencies. Accountability, particularly political accountability through presidential and ...


Executive Federalism Comes To America, Jessica Bulman-Pozen Jan 2015

Executive Federalism Comes To America, Jessica Bulman-Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

From healthcare to marijuana to climate change, negotiations among federal and state executive branch actors increasingly set national policy in the United States. This executive federalism fits uneasily into existing understandings: it departs from expectations that Congress formulates national policy and mediates state-federal relationships; it poses a challenge to popular suggestions that the president is engaged in unilateral action; and it comes as a surprise to those who have studied executive federalism but insist it is the peculiar province of parliamentary federations. In an age of partisan polarization, congressional gridlock, and state initiative, executive federalism has come to America. After ...


The Administrative Origins Of Modern Civil Liberties Law, Jeremy K. Kessler Jan 2014

The Administrative Origins Of Modern Civil Liberties Law, Jeremy K. Kessler

Faculty Scholarship

This Article offers a new explanation for the puzzling origin of modern civil liberties law. Legal scholars have long sought to explain how Progressive lawyers and intellectuals skeptical of individual rights and committed to a strong, activist state came to advocate for robust First Amendment protections after World War I. Most attempts to solve this puzzle focus on the executive branch’s suppression of dissent during World War I and the Red Scare. Once Progressives realized that a powerful administrative state risked stifling debate and deliberation within civil society, the story goes, they turned to civil liberties law in order ...


The Administrative Origins Of Modern Civil Liberties Law, Jeremy K. Kessler Jan 2014

The Administrative Origins Of Modern Civil Liberties Law, Jeremy K. Kessler

Faculty Scholarship

This Article offers a new explanation for the puzzling origin of modern civil liberties law. Legal scholars have long sought to explain how Progressive lawyers and intellectuals skeptical of individual rights and committed to a strong, activist state came to advocate for robust First Amendment protections after World War I. Most attempts to solve this puzzle focus on the executive branch's suppression of dissent during World War I and the Red Scare. Once Progressives realized that a powerful administrative state risked stifling debate and deliberation within civil society, the story goes, they turned to civil liberties law in order ...


Federalism As A Safeguard Of The Separation Of Powers, Jessica Bulman-Pozen Jan 2012

Federalism As A Safeguard Of The Separation Of Powers, Jessica Bulman-Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

States frequently administer federal law, yet scholars have largely overlooked how the practice of cooperative federalism affects the balance of power across the branches of the federal government. This article explains how states check the federal executive in an era of expansive executive power and how they do so as champions of Congress, both relying on congressionally conferred authority and casting themselves as Congress’s faithful agents. By inviting the states to carry out federal law, Congress, whether purposefully or incidentally, counteracts the tendency of statutory ambiguity and broad delegations of authority to enhance federal executive power. When states disagree ...


Rulemaking And The American Constitution, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2009

Rulemaking And The American Constitution, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

A Constitution that strongly separates legislative from executive activity makes it difficult to reconcile executive adoption of regulations (that is, departmentally adopted texts resembling statutes and having the force of law, if valid) with the proposition that the President is not ‘to be a lawmaker’. Such activity is, of course, an essential of government in the era of the regulatory state. United States courts readily accept the delegation to responsible agencies of authority to engage in it, what we call ‘rulemaking’, so long as it occurs in a framework that permits them to assess the legality of any particular exercise ...